What's the Difference Between HID and LED Car Lighting Systems?

When you’re cruising through the desert late at night, your vehicle is often the only source of light for miles. It’s times like these when upgrading to aftermarket headlights is worth every penny. With an HID or LED car lighting system, you’ll enjoy enhanced visibility without blinding other drivers all in the name of a safer ride.

But my headlights work fine, why should I upgrade?

If your vehicle was made in the last 20 years, it probably came with halogen headlights installed as standard. While there isn’t anything wrong with halogen headlights, there are much better options available today that provide stronger, more efficient lighting. If you’re trying to decide between upgrading to an HID or LED car lighting system, here is a quick breakdown the differences between the two.

What is HID car lighting?

HIDs are a common alternative to halogen lights and are what drivers typically choose when upgrading their car lighting systems. Instead of halogen, HID headlights use another type of gas, usually xenon. The xenon passes over an electrical charge, which allows the HID light bulbs to give off a much brighter glow than LEDs or halogens. Another perk of choosing HIDs is that they come in seven color temperatures, so you have more options to choose from.

Of course, there’s a catch. HIDs are significantly more fragile and need to be replaced more frequently than LEDs. The average lifespan of HID headlights is 5,000 hours, which is low compared to that of LEDs. What’s more, HIDs have to warm up for 15 – 25 seconds during ignition, which can feel like a long time when you’re anxious to hit the road. 
Bottom line: If you’re on a budget and are looking for a short-term fix, an HID car lighting system might be your best option. Otherwise, keep reading to learn about the alternative – LED car lighting.

What is LED car lighting?

When it comes to upgrading your headlights, LEDs offer a lot more than clear, bright light. LED headlights are built to last, providing greater durability and energy efficiency than both HID and halogen bulbs. The lifespan of an LED bulb is an astonishing 25,000 hours. In theory, you could go decades without having to replace your headlights.  

LEDs are also a great choice if you have an off roading vehicle. When you’re flying through back roads in complete darkness, seeing where you’re going and what lies ahead ensures the safety of you and your passengers. With an LED bar, you can create daylight anywhere.

The only drawbacks to LEDs are that they aren’t as bright as HIDs and they cost more up front. However, LED technology is advancing quickly and it’s likely they’ll eventually surpass HIDs in terms of brightness and affordability. If you’re looking for something longer lasting and more cost effective over time, our expert opinion would be to go with an LED car lighting system or an LED bar for your off roading vehicle. 
Upgrade your car lighting system at Audio Shack 

At Audio Shack, there’s nothing we value more than your safety on the road. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your car lighting system or add an LED bar to your off roading vehicle, you’ll find everything you need at our shop in El Cajon. 

Already have your own system and just need a professional to install it? Our skilled and certified technicians will install any product or piece of equipment with precision and care – no appointment necessary. We have the best customer service and the lowest prices in San Diego. Plus, our military and senior discounts offer additional savings. Why not stop by today? We look forward to serving you.